Staff Reporters
Jan 25, 2024

Singtel's new CNY film stars a 70-year-old skater, reinventing cool and lifelong tech adoption

A passionate roller-skater, Tan Teck Hung, affectionately known as 'Uncle Heng', breaks barriers in the telco's heartwarming new Chinese New Year campaign.

Singtel has launched its 2024 Chinese New Year campaign, showcasing the role technology plays in lifelong learning and connecting generations.

The film titled 'A Date With Spring’ has been created in-house in conjunction with Akanga Films, and is based on the life of 70-year-old Tan Teck Hung.

Tan went viral on social media after showing off complex moves like skating on one leg or the ‘Arabesque spin’ at iconic Singapore locations, including Marina Barrage and Chinatown.

The fictional storyline features Tan rekindling his roller-skating hobby with the help of modern gadgets because he misses his wife. Observing the youthful skaters at East Coast Park, he feels motivated to search for his long-forgotten roller skates and re-engage with the sport.

Facing challenges in his first effort to skate, he utilises his smartphone to record and analyse his performance, simultaneously refreshing his abilities by viewing clips of young skaters performing contemporary manoeuvres.

In real life, Tan started skating at 16, but stopped until he turned 59 when he chanced upon a pair of roller skates at a second-hand store in Toa Payoh. He has since become a regular at the East Coast Park skating ring, where he skates while blasting Cantonese pop music on loudspeakers.

“This film isn’t just aspirational. We drew inspiration from the real life of 70-year-old mechanic Tan Teck Hung, who stars in the film, as he had gone viral due to his excellent skating skills,” said Yuen Kuan Moon, Singtel’s group chief executive officer.

“Stirred by his personal story, we decided to turn it into a tale of empowerment for the new year, which is what Singtel’s purpose is to empower every generation. Technology is not just the purview of the young. It is inclusive and enabling. People of all ages can use it, and we’ve made it our mission to help everyone reap its benefits.”

Campaign's take: It's refreshing and inspiring to see brands shift from pre-conceived notions of what appeals to audiences by embracing mature age idols. The misconstrued idea that older members of society can't resonate with younger demographics is exactly that—misconstrued—which is why representation such as that of Tan's story in a mainstream branding campaign really does change the narrative. There's no age limit on being cool or growth or self-discovery, as is evidenced by the above. Singtel's headed for a great reception on this one.

Campaign Asia

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